Last year I began a Hunger Strike for Justice after years of regular communication style was ignored completely by Holy Cross when I reported violations of law and college policies. My confidentiality and privacy had been routinely breached by Holy Cross presidents and their staffs. When I complained, they ignored me.
When I began the Hunger Strike for Justice last year, Fr. Boroughs’ only instinct was to retaliate. That is what I experienced from the college from the beginning. Retaliation. On the 26th day of the hunger strike, I suspended it after the college said it would engage in settlement talks. A year later, those settlement talks have gone nowhere. In the meantime, there was more retaliation.
A month ago I began a Vigil for Justice at Holy Cross, deciding a presence and public witness to these problems was enough. The month has been very rewarding and gratifying in so many ways. Students have been remarkably thoughtful. Parents of students and prospective students ask me many good questions about the administration’s poor handling of sexual assault. Alums have stopped to tell me stories about sexual abuse at Holy Cross by Jesuits.
But my communication with the Holy Cross administration is still futile. And the college still engages in retaliation. None of that has changed. I had questioned resuming the hunger strike, thinking the Vigil was enough, and I know it made some supporters and friends uncomfortable when I mentioned returning to the hunger strike. Still, I cannot shake the idea, the calling, because I have seen no results, no change in the poor processes used by Holy Cross. In fact, I learned the processes are even worse than I knew. As I mentioned in the last post, Fr. Boroughs wants all victims of abusive Jesuits to contact the college litigator. That is so antithetical to what the college says it stands for as a Catholic and Jesuit institution. The Catholic church changed this policy in 2002, taking their lawyers out of the reporting processes. Holy Cross is not following the guidelines.
So returning to the Hunger Strike for Justice seems very likely today. I’ve waited a year since the college offered settlement talks, but there is nothing to show for the year but more retaliation.